An Outsider's Perspective: An Interview with an Overseas Fan of the NFL

TJ JenkinsAnalyst IFebruary 13, 2009

I sat down with one of my good friends, Shane, for his view on the NFL. Since he is not living in the United States and still finds time to watch the NFL, I thought he can relate an outsider's perspective on the NFL.

TJ: Now, Shane, where are you from?

Shane: I am from Northampton, England.

TJ: How did you first get interested the NFL?

Shane: I just gradually watched it more and more. Plus, my brother is a big fan.

TJ: What was the first game you ever watched?

Shane: The first Super Bowl I watched all the way through was Super Bowl XLIII between the Eagles and Patriots. Though, my first introduction to the game was the movie Little Giants.

TJ: What is your favorite aspect of the NFL?

Shane:  I respect the athleticism in the sport more than anything. Living in England, Rugby is popular but I dislike the sport. People usually say that the NFL is full of wimps because everyone wears padding. I am usually somebody who argues in favor of the NFL.

The speed players throw themselves at defenders without slowing down. Rugby is a very slow sport compared to the NFL. I think my English friends would understand and respect the NFL if they properly watched it. If NFL players did not wear padding and took the hits that they do, I am sure there would be some serious injuries and possibly worse.

TJ: What is your least favorite aspect of football?

Shane: For starters, I do not like how the sport is called football. It is not football. You can argue with me as much as you want but the sport you call "soccer" is accepted as "football" worldwide.

About the actual playing of the game, it is the amount of stoppages. I understand
that the game is about stopping, but it frustrates me. I think the commercials make it worse.

When I went to the game at Wembley, I noticed the stoppages less because I did not have to watch a stupid advertisement. Due to years of watching and playing "soccer," I have become accustomed to not having breaks.

The game is played a fairly fast pace for 45 minutes, and stops for a 15-minute halftime.
Then it continues without stopping for another 45 minutes. Unless it goes into extra time and penalties, but that is only certain games.

TJ: Since you are in another country, I am assuming that you do not get the chance to watch many games, do you attempt to watch every one that you can?

Shane: I think you would be surprised at the amount of games I can watch. We have a choice of five live games a week.

No, I do not attempt to watch as many as I can. When the Patriots were having the undefeated season, I tuned into numerous games. With the time zones, it is difficult staying up so late for a sport I do not care that much about when I have to work the next day.

TJ: Who is your favorite team?

Shane: It is probably the Patriots. Whenever I watch the Patriots, I find them fairly enjoyable.

TJ: Who is your favorite player?

Shane: It is Tom Brady. Yes, I know I am glory hunter. I do not follow the sport that much so I cannot say I know many players. I just enjoy watching a good game.

TJ: Thanks for the interview, Shane.

Shane: Anytime buddy.

It is always great to get another opinion on the NFL.